Original Research

Occurrence of Theileria parva and other haemoprotozoa in cattle at the edge of Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

S. B.A.S. Yusufmia, N. E. Collins, R. Nkuna, M. Troskie, P. Van Den Bossche, B. L. Penzhorn
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 81, No 1 | a95 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v81i1.95 | © 2010 S. B.A.S. Yusufmia, N. E. Collins, R. Nkuna, M. Troskie, P. Van Den Bossche, B. L. Penzhorn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 May 2010 | Published: 03 May 2010

About the author(s)

S. B.A.S. Yusufmia,
N. E. Collins,
R. Nkuna,
M. Troskie,
P. Van Den Bossche,
B. L. Penzhorn,

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Abstract

Theileria parva, the most important bovine theilerial species in sub-Saharan Africa, causes widespread mortality and morbidity in endemic areas. A survey was conducted using buffy-coat specimens from 60 apparently healthy adult communally herded Nguni-type cattle at the northeastern edge of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park to determine, by means of PCR and Reverse Line Blot (RLB) hybridisation, the occurrence of Theileria and Babesia species. The presence of Trypanosoma species was determined using PCR-RFLP. Results showed that 6.7 % of the specimens were positive for Theileria parva. This significant finding suggests that cattle in South Africa, and not only African buffaloes (Syncerus caffer), may be subclinical carriers of T. parva. Other species identified were T. mutans (83.3 %), T. velifera (70.0 %), Theileria sp. (sable) (46.8 %) and T. taurotragi (1.7 %). Two specimens (3.3 %) were positive for Babesia bovis and single specimens (1.7 %) positive for B. bigemina and B. rossi, respectively. Mixed infections, of up to 4 species, were common (65.0 %). Only 1 specimen was found to be positive for Trypanosoma vivax, and 2 for T. theileri, of which only the first species is pathogenic.

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